HARBESON, Del. — Workers cutting chicken fat, bone and cartilage eight hours a day at Allen Harim Foods plant in Harbeson, Del., are suffering musculoskeletal injuries caused by their jobs, an inspection by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration found.
Following the inspection at the Harbeson plant, OSHA cited the company for exposing employees on the debone line to musculoskeletal disorder hazards. The agency determined that workers performed prolonged, repetitive and forceful tasks without controls in place to prevent injuries.
OSHA also issued serious citations for failing to designate emergency exits properly and to ensure employees received training related to machinery that could unexpectedly start up during service and maintenance.
OSHA cited Allen Harim Foods for a total of nine violations. Proposed penalties total $38,000.
“Musculoskeletal injuries caused by these hazards in poultry plants are too common,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “These types of injuries can be prevented by implementing appropriate engineering and administrative controls in the workplace, and when they occur, they must be treated early with appropriate medical care to prevent the illness from progressing.”
Headquartered in Seaford, Allen Harim Foods has a total of 1,600 employees, with 960 workers at the Harbeson plant. In addition to the Harbeson facility, the company operates a poultry-processing plant in Cordova, Md.; breeding operations in Liberty, N.C.; and hatcheries and a feed mill in Dagsboro and Seaford, Del.